Psychoacoustic Performance in Children Completing Fast ForWord Training It has been hypothesized that one cause of children's language disorders is poor temporal processing. When children are not able to follow the rapid modulations in the speech signal that cue phonemic information, development of critical language concepts might be missed. It has also been suggested that intensive auditory training ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   August 01, 2001
Psychoacoustic Performance in Children Completing Fast ForWord Training
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda M. Thibodeau, PhD
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Sandy Friel-Patti
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Lana Britt
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Contact author: Linda M. Thibodeau, PhD, Advanced Hearing Research Center, UTD/Callier Center for Communication Disorders, 1966 Inwood Rd., Dallas, TX 75235.
    Contact author: Linda M. Thibodeau, PhD, Advanced Hearing Research Center, UTD/Callier Center for Communication Disorders, 1966 Inwood Rd., Dallas, TX 75235.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: thib@utdallas.edu
Article Information
Clinical Forum: Fast ForWord
Clinical Forum   |   August 01, 2001
Psychoacoustic Performance in Children Completing Fast ForWord Training
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2001, Vol. 10, 248-257. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/022)
History: Received April 10, 2000 , Accepted June 29, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2001, Vol. 10, 248-257. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/022)
History: Received April 10, 2000; Accepted June 29, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

It has been hypothesized that one cause of children's language disorders is poor temporal processing. When children are not able to follow the rapid modulations in the speech signal that cue phonemic information, development of critical language concepts might be missed. It has also been suggested that intensive auditory training on a hierarchy of temporal tasks may significantly improve language processing. Temporal processing was evaluated in children with normal language and those with language impairment who were enrolled in an intensive computerized auditory training program. The psychoacoustic tasks were aimed at evaluating the ability to (1) process signals arriving in very close succession, and (2) discriminate signals changing rapidly in frequency.

Three dependent variables included thresholds for brief tones presented in three conditions: quiet, just before a masker, and simultaneously with a masker. A fourth dependent variable was the minimum detectable change in a tone sweeping up in frequency. Despite minimal changes in performance over the five-week period, there were overlaps in performance on all tasks between the groups suggesting a complex relationship between temporal processing and language development. Children with language impairment who had better performance on the masking and frequency discrimination tasks showed greater success on the auditory training program.

Author Note
This research was partially supported by the Clark Summer Research Program at the University of Texas at Dallas awarded to the third author and a grant from the Excellence in Education Fund through the University of Texas at Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders awarded to the second author. We acknowledge the cooperation of Scientific Learning Corporation and the Shelton School in Dallas, TX. We are grateful for the assistance of Fereshteh Kunkel, Leslie Martin, Julia McBrayne, Jack Scott, and Stephanie Taylor for their assistance in data collection and three anonymous reviewers and the journal editors for very constructive and insightful comments on previous versions of this manuscript. Finally, we are sincerely appreciative of the time and effort the families spent in participating in this 6-week study.
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